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HC Wake-Up Call: Melania Trump Clashes with White House Staff, Florida Recount, & CNN Sues Trump


Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Melania Trump Clashes with White House Staff

Deputy national security advisor Mira Ricardel and President Trump's chief of staff John Kelly are both at risk of losing their jobs due to a conflict with first lady Melania Trump, NBC News reported. Regarding Kelly, Melania allegedly told the president earlier this year that Kelly had "repeatedly turned down requests to promote some of her aides, even as Kelly's staff received promotions." 

Melania's spokeswoman issued a statement on Ricardel on Tuesday, saying she "no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House." According to CNN, a White House official confirmed that Ricardel would be fired, but it's not immediately clear when. It's also not clear what sparked the statement, although members of Melania's staff were said to be feuding with Ricardel over her trip to Africa. Ricardel was also accused by a White House official of "being dishonest about the feud and subsequently leaking stories to try to cover her behavior," CNN reported. 

Florida Election Recounts Underway with Dems Seeking Extension

The state of Florida is currently conducting a machine recount of votes in three midterm races: governor, US senate and agriculture commissioner. The deadline for the vote tally is Thursday, but Democratic Senator Bill Nelson — who's narrowly losing to GOP Governor Rick Scott — filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday to extend the recount for the Senate race. According to Nelson's campaign, the lawsuit would "allow all local elections officials in the 67 Florida counties the time they say is needed to finish a legally mandated and accurate recount because the race was so close."

The pre-recount tally had Scott leading Nelson by more than 12,500 votes. However, the closest Florida race is undoubtedly between Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Nikki Fried and Republican Matt Caldwell, as Fried is leading by a little more than 5,000 votes (or .06 percent). Regarding the governor's race, Republican former Representative Ron DeSantis is ahead of Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by nearly 34,000 votes. These numbers could change after the recount, though. 

Trump has weighed in on the Florida races, saying that both Scott and DeSantis should be elected. He also cited voter fraud, tweeting on Monday that "large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged." Meanwhile, there are currently four other lawsuits seeking that ballots of a variety of sorts are counted in races in different states. 

CNN Suing Trump & Top White House Aides

CNN filed a lawsuit against Trump and several of his top aides on Tuesday in an effort to restore reporter Jim Acosta's White House press pass after it was suspended last week. Acosta lost access to the White House after a heated exchange with Trump and then a brief altercation with a press aide in which she attempted to take Acosta's microphone but he refused. Hours later, press secretary Sarah Sanders announced that Acosta's "hard pass"— which grants reporters access to the White House grounds — would be revoked for an indefinite period. She also called Acosta's alleged behavior "unacceptable" and tweeted a video that appeared to be doctored of the incident. 

"CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court," CNN said in a statement on Tuesday. "It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN's Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta's First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process. We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process."

Judge Timothy J. Kelly has since ordered that the White House and the defendants named in the suit respond to CNN's motion for a temporary restraining order by Wednesday morning. According to The Washington Post, a hearing on the restraining order, which would temporarily allow Acosta to get his press credentials back depending on the outcome of the trial, is set for Wednesday afternoon. 

What to look for...

A pickle — it's National Pickle Day

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